Poor Housing Market Affects Somerset’s Proposed Budget

The Somerset County Commissioners are currently considering the county’s proposed budget for fiscal 2015. The proposed budget, which is less than the current year, maintains tax rates and relies on reserve funds.

As reported by the Salisbury Daily Times:

County officials are proposing a $36.2 million budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, which includes $13.7 million from property tax revenues — $708,000 less than the current year, said Gene Adkins, the county’s finance director.

The decrease is the result of a recent reassessment of properties in the Crisfield area.

“This is the fifth year in a row we’ve had a double-digit drop in assessments,” he said.

The budget funds the following projects and programs:

County officials have allocated $4.2 million for capital projects, including $637,000 for the new Crisfield library, $1.3 million for school construction projects and $590,000 for waterways projects.

The school system will receive $8.7 million, plus an additional $365,500 in nonrecurring costs and $495,932 for a teachers pension shift to the county, Adkins said.

The budget also includes $2 million for the County Roads Department to help make up for the loss of state highway user funds, but it is more than $200,000 less than the department got this year.

Employees will receive a 2.5% salary increase.

County Commissioners are scheduled to adopt the budget during their June 3 meeting.

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